Young people are more likely to discourage others from seeking employment in the tourism, events or hospitality sectors, with only 28% of those surveyed believing they were being fairly treated in the industry, a new report has found.
According to a study of 190 young people in tourism with an average age of 28, a growing gap is being noticed between the values of young people working in the visitor economy and the industry itself. Three quarters of those surveyed were currently working in the hospitality, tourism and events sectors, with the other quarter studying for careers in these fields.
The report and its associated study, conducted by Young Tourism Network (YTN) and Regeneration Projects, also found young people experienced worse outcomes in 2020 compared to others in the tourism industry.
“For the amount of professional development I have completed and continue to do to maintain a professional point of view, to then be working alongside someone with no experience or qualifications is quite disheartening,” one respondent said.
“It was a minimum requirement to have these skills and quals now it’s just fill positions and take people outside.”
Recommendations made by the report included involving young people in key decision making, refocusing sustainability efforts and improving links between businesses and educational institutions.
Another major finding from the report saw 95% of respondents rated the tourism industry as a “fun” sector to work, only 28% believed they were being fairly treated with only one in four believing young people had a strong voice in the industry. Alarmingly, the view of young people rated tourism’s focus on sustainability as a 6.7 out of 10.
Young Tourism Network Chairman and a co-author of the report, Hugh Fitzpatrick, said the report highlighted how difficult the previous 12 months have been for young people in the tourism sector.
“Working in tourism has received immense brand damage since 2020, and the industry needs to fundamentally evolve to attract young talent back into the fold,” he said.
“Young people are wanting better job security and to work in an industry or organisation that represents their values and gives them space to provide value to people, place, planet and profit,” added Kate Rickwood, YTN Secretary and the report’s co-author.